When it comes to the depth of the elite fields, the BMW Frankfurt Marathon is Germany’s number one road race and once again there is an amazing quality to this year’s event, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 27 October.
Organisers confirmed on Wednesday (16) that there will be 21 men on the start list who have run under 2:10 and five of them even have personal bests inside 2:05:30.
The women’s field has 10 athletes who have run faster than 2:30 with eight of them having bests below 2:25.
“Despite the World Championships this summer, we were able to put together a very good field,” said race director Jo Schindler.
The extraordinary quality of the fields will inevitably lead to expectations of a very fast race, especially if the weather conditions are better than last year, when temperatures were just above freezing in the morning.
Nevertheless, whatever the conditions, it will still be a tough task to break the course record, which stands at 2:03:42 and was set two years ago by Kenya’s recently minted World record holder Wilson Kipsang.
The Ethiopian pair of Dino Sefir and Feyisa Lilesa and the Kenyan trio of Vincent Kipruto, Levy Matebo Omari and Albert Matebor are the five fastest men on paper.
The women’s field sees two major additions, apart from those already announced.
Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye returns to Germany a year after her second place in the Berlin Marathon when she ran a best of 2:21:19. This year, she has won the Dubai Marathon in January and placed fifth in the Boston Marathon.
Like last year, there is an interesting debutant from Ethiopia: Gelete Burka will run her first Marathon in Frankfurt.
Now 27, Burka has won medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and IAAF World Cross Country Championships and has also demonstrated her all round talent on the roads in the last 12 months, running a world class 30:53 in Madrid’s famous San Silvestre Vallecana 10km race on New Year’s Eve in 2012.
She has not run further than 15km in competition but this might not necessarily turn out to be a disadvantage since the same applied to another Ethiopian, Meselech Melkamu, last year and her compatriot made a great debut, winning the BMW Frankfurt Marathon 2012 with a course record of 2:21:01.
Melkamu will return to Frankfurt and will need no reminding of Burka’s achievements and this potent combination could put the course record under threat.
Around 15,000 runners are expected to compete in the 32nd edition of Germany’s oldest city Marathon.
Jörg Wenig (organisers) for the IAAF
Elite Fields for the BMW Frankfurt Marathon
Men (personal bests):
Dino Sefir (ETH) 2:04:50
Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) 2:04:52
Vincent Kipruto (KEN) 2:05:13
Levy Matebo Omari (KEN) 2:05:16
Albert Matebor (KEN) 2:05:25
Eric Ndiema (KEN) 2:06:07
Gilbert Kirwa (KEN) 2:06:14
Feyisa Bekele (ETH) 2:06:26
Benjamin Maiyo (KEN) 2:07:09
Dmytri Baranovskiy (UKR) 2:07:15
Assefa Girma (ETH) 2:07:43
Tadesse Abraham (ERI) 2:07:45
Elijah Kemboi (KEN) 2:07:51
Gidena Mirach Gebremedhin (ETH) 2:08:28
Dereje Raya Tadesse (ETH) 2:08:46
Robert Kwambai (KEN) 2:09:14
Urige Arado Buta (NOR) 2:09:27
Jacob Chesari (KEN) 2:09:43
Abdellatif Meftah (FRA) 2:09:46
Lema Feiysa (ETH) 2:09:47
Jonathan Kiptoo (KEN) 2:09:57
Johnstone Maiyo (KEN) 2:10:03
Günther Weidlinger (AUT) 2:10:47
Moses Masai (KEN) 2:11:00
Edwin Kipyego (KEN) debut
Richard Sigei (KEN) debut
Abraham Chebii (KEN) debut
Meselech Melkamu (ETH) 2:21:01
Tirfi Tsegaye (ETH) 2:21:19
Eunice Jepkirui (KEN) 2:21:41
Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2:21:59
Caroline Kilel (KEN) 2:22:36
Birhane Dibaba (ETH) 2:23:51
Flomena Chepchirchir (KEN) 2:24:21
Hilda Kibet (NED) 2:24:27
Yeshi Esayias (ETH) 2:25:31
Hayley Haining (GBR) 2:29:18
Gelete Burka (ETH) debut